Tough economic times call for tough money management. As major banks and investment companies are folding, and the stock market spirals up one day and down the next, everyone must be positioned to make wise financial decisions. Everyone should understand that their financial decisions have long-term consequences. They must be able to plan how they will obtain, keep, and grow their incomes. They need to believe that they are the masters of their own financial destinies.
Financial literacy has taken on increased importance as borrowers' spending and credit habits impact them beyond paying their monthly bills. Employers are increasingly using credit scores to make hiring decisions, while insurance companies are using the scores to determine whether to provide coverage. College students cite financial problems as their main reason for dropping out of college.
Identity theft is currently identified as the number one crime in the U.S. with approximately nine million people falling victim to it annually. Everyone needs to know what precautions to take to keep from being included in that number.
Obtaining financial literacy is especially valuable to young people, who are uniquely positioned to benefit in the long-term from wise money management. By using the time value of money to their advantage, they can meet the challenges presented by scant financial resources. With time and knowledge on their side, young people can begin to build wealth now, laying the foundation for a lifetime of informed spending, saving, and investing that carries them through to financial independence and retirement.